It’s been a while since I last published any blogging related post on here. It really feels good to be back talking about blogging. Like I love to emphasize, I’m not a pro at this blogging thing. I’m but a learner who finds joy sharing the little he has learnt.
The blogging process, from conception of ideas to promoting finished product, can be physically and mentally tasking. And, I can confirm to you that my blogging process is not an exemption. The good news is, thanks to various applications, software extensions, and plugins, this tasking process can be streamlined. Below are some of the tools that help ease my blogging process.
Grammarly [Web Browser Extension & Microsoft Word Plugin]
Writers, generally, detest spotting errors in their writings. The effect can be very demoralizing. They are a writer’s worst nightmare. Sort of explains why the professionals ensure to call on editors and proofreaders. However, as a blogger, chances are high that you can’t afford such every time you prepare to publish a post. It’s either you don’t have the time or the money, or both. This leaves you with no choice but to proofread your article by yourself.
Proofreading is a very important step to take when publishing a post. You should ensure you go through your post repeatedly until you are satisfied it’s okay for public consumption. But, no matter how much and well you proofread, we are only humans. Even the best amongst us are prone to make silly mistakes. It’s in situations such as this that Grammarly comes in handy.
Grammarly is an online spellchecker. I use Grammarly in my blogging process as my last line of defense against grammatical and punctuation errors. Grammarly offers in-depth spell checks, spots punctuation, tense and agreement errors. Grammarly goes the whole nine to prevent errors from appearing in your articles.
Twitter [Social Media Application]
Writing awesome blog posts isn’t all there is to blogging successfully – I wish that was it though. Writing a post is actually an activity that sets off a chain of activities, one of them being promotion. After publishing your post, you’ll have to publicize it. Your posts will not be found by your target audience solely off the back of its awesomeness. You have to push it. Make it easily discoverable for them.
Personally, one tool that has greatly helped me with publicizing my posts is Twitter. Let me digress. Those who ran blogs pre social media era are the real OGs. How did they publicize their blogs? It must have been really difficult. Almost 80% of my blog’s traffic comes from Twitter. Really, what would I have done without Twitter? I run a Facebook page also, but I work my Twitter account more than I do the Facebook page. #TeamTwitter. Please note, Twitter is only my platform of choice and not a foolproof publicity platform. All social media platforms can as well be utilized for publicizing blog posts. As long as you get to reach your target audience via the platform, you are good.
As a rule of thumb, be mild with your publicity, don’t go about it aggressively. Outside of driving traffic to your posts, interact with your audience. You don’t want to be known for posting blog links alone. People will get tired and pay you less attention if you only push links in their faces, it’s a no-brainer. Some will even go the extra mile to block or unfollow you, you don’t want that. Connect with your audience outside of your blog. That way they’ll be motivated to engage with your blog without much persuasion.
Canva.com [Online Graphics Site]
Graphics go a long way in determining if and how readers will interact with your blog. The blog layout is the first thing that strikes a reader. Readers don’t necessarily have to go through the content of your blog to decide whether to stay or leave. How visually appealing they find the blog is a deal breaker for a lot of visitors. For this reason, it is non-negotiable that your blog’s layout be striking. For a visually appealing blog layout, one thing you can’t do without is good graphics.
If creating beautiful graphics for your blog is a headache, worry no more. Canva.com is the solution you need. Before now, I would just download stock photographs I considered appropriate online and insert them into my posts. Yes, stock photographs are great, but, thing is, over time they become boring. Recently, I started using Canva to beef up these images before inserting them in my posts. I haven’t gotten a complete hang of it yet, but, so far, my experience with Canva has been good.
There is just this ease that Canva offers me. As opposed to creating designs from the scratch, Canva offers me, on a platter of gold, the flexibility of working with templates. All I have to do is tweak and tune these already beautiful templates to suit my purpose. I’d strongly suggest you give Canva.com a trial.
Yoast SEO [Wordpress Plugin]
Most of my posts are not particularly optimized for search engine – something I need to work on. But that notwithstanding, the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin has proven to be a very valuable tool in my blogging process.
Asides from its SEO keyword feature, Yoast SEO offers various helpful features. One of such is the readability feature. Putting various algorithms into consideration, the plugin analyzes your post and scores how easily readable it is, offering you options to improve the quality of the post before publishing it. It also helps you trim down on long sentences, helping the pacing of your article. This particular feature has greatly helped better my writing. Before, I would just ramble on and on without considering its effect on readers. Another Yoast SEO feature is the passive voice checker. This feature ensures a limit to how much of the passive voice you write in. Bottom-line, the Yoast SEO plugin is a great tool.
A note of warning, I’d advise you don’t become overly conscious about this plugin’s checklist. Your posts stand a risk of reading as generic if over time all you care about is right standing with the plugin.
There you have it, 4 tools that help streamline my blogging process. I would appreciate recommendations too. What tools are you using to streamline your blogging process? Please, share with me in the comment section. Thanks.